Melissa Palmer’s Previously Published Memoir Finds a Home at WiDo

SALT LAKE CITY UT September 18, 2014
bioheadMelissa Palmer’s memoir A Life Less Normal examines the life of a woman child growing up in the shadow of mental illness with the support of her proverbial north Jersey crime family. She had an agent for her book. It was in the hands of a major New York publisher, and when everything fell apart, Palmer self-published it. She felt that strongly about sharing her story with others.

Why did she then pull it from sale and sign a contract with WiDo? “I’m a grassroots kind of gal, and have had my share of the big publishing approach to books and writing,” says Palmer. “My book is too special to me to be looked at like a product. WiDo takes a personal approach to its books and that really appeals to me. It’s a really personal book I’ve written, perhaps the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. I trust WiDo with it and know that by opening up its availability in print and in other avenues, more people are going to be able to connect with it.”

“It is stories like Melissa’s about how authors respond to our website and our mission statement that make me go all soft and gushy,” says WiDo submissions editor Allie Maldonado.  “Especially a writer with the experience and talent of Melissa Palmer. Her memoir reads extremely well, her voice is strong and engaging, and you come to really care about this girl and her family.”

Melissa Palmer has been a writer from her earliest years. “My earliest memory of being a ‘writer’ is waking up in the middle of the night as a second grader, with an idea in my head I ‘had to write down.'” She started as a poet, but after writing her memoir she turned to prose, writing and publishing many short stories. “It was a lot easier to get ideas and thoughts down cohesively, rather than in disjointed snippets,” she says.

Palmer feels grateful for the experience of writing the memoir and wants to share her story with others. “It fixed me, in a way. For so long I thought I was alone in what happened in my life and I thought hiding it was for the best. I know now there are so many others struggling as my mother did. In her memory I try to help all those I can.”

At WiDo, we love a good memoir,” says Maldonado. “And this one is excellent. We feel honored that a writer of Melissa’s caliber has chosen to publish her book with us.”

Melissa Palmer was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for short fiction for “Mrs. MacMillan’s Garden.” She was nominated for the Eric Hoffer Prize for short fiction for her story “Blood”. But of all the honors she was most touched when the McStorytellers named her an honorary Scot for her story “At This Moment”. Her work has been featured by Hospital Drive, Best New Writing, The Quotable, and The Writing Disorder among others. Her short stories range from absurd to dark and in a former life she wrote a prize-winning haiku for the show Spaceghost Coast to Coast. In her spare time she wrangles Newfoundlands, two precocious girls, and one very handsome cat with the help of a strong silent drink of water with whom she shares her life. She is never not writing, frequently baking, and always a little off-center.